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Down the Rabbit Hole by Juan Pablo…
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Down the Rabbit Hole (2010)

by Juan Pablo Villalobos

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2401571,509 (3.6)52
  1. 00
    Der König, die Sonne, der Tod: Mexikanische Trilogie by Yuri Herrera (Philosofiction)
  2. 00
    Trabajos del Reino (Spanish Edition) by Yuri Herrera (CecileB)
    CecileB: Ce sont deux romans qui dénoncent le climat qu'impose au Mexique le trafic de la drogue.
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» See also 52 mentions

English (14)  French (1)  All languages (15)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
A new Holden Caulfield at 7 years, son of a small-time Mexican drug lord, living in the lightly populated (14 gunsels) hideaway. Getting tutored about the life and learning big dictionary words: orifice-like the kind bullets make, pathetic-like his life. ( )
  kerns222 | May 25, 2018 |
Desconcertante talvez seja a melhor palavra para definir essa novela. Sob um véu de simplicidade o autor revela humor, cinismo, loucura enquanto desvenda a intimidade do "lar" de um narcotraficante. Trata-se de universo surrealista e ao mesmo tempo hiperrealista. A loucura é o protagonista que permeia as relações e as revelações se impondo com naturalidade de sanatório. Não é realismo fantástico latino americano nem surrealismo de Lewis Carrol, mas a dura loucura dos psicopatas com a leveza impossível de uma criança. Impossível não rir e impossível não ficar incomodado, perplexo e finalmente deprimido. ( )
  georgeslacombe | Feb 24, 2014 |
The novel started and I couldn't fathom that its short word-count would add up to much at all. Tochtli's voice is simple, despite its precociousness, and a reader could be forgiven for finding themselves wondering about the mysteries happening off-stage while Tochtli is off talking about his hats. But as with any young child, if you pay a little more attention, you'll see that they're experiencing the world in ways wholly different from you and I - ways that reveal so much more than is readily apparent. It's that that makes Villalobos' book so successful and so ultimately powerful, despite its diminutive stature.
Also, how terrific is the front cover illustration of the young boy with the hats and the samurai sword riding a pygmy hippo? Adorable.

More at RB: http://wp.me/pGVzJ-Ml ( )
1 vote drewsof | Oct 24, 2013 |
Life with a South American drug baron through the all seeing but not all comprehending eyes of his 10 year-old son.

I think I myself am too naive to be able to join the dots properly - in the end the truth of the events described remained obscure. ( )
  jtck121166 | Aug 27, 2013 |
I loved this novella so, so much, and fought the urge to re-read it as soon as I finished (because I had too many other books to complete). The narrative, as channeled through the young son of a drug baron who’s cooped up in a large mansion in Mexico, is playful and chuckle-inducing. I’m pretty amazed that this voice—childish, precocious, inadvertently funny—came through so well in the translation from Spanish, so kudos to the translator. This young boy loves to collect hats, uses big words he gets from the dictionary (endearingly and incorrectly), and longs for a Liberian pygmy hippopotamus to add to his collection of animals--in a world that's feels quirky, surreal,and menacing. On the edges of his matter-of-fact narration on things like whether, among his handful of acquaintances, he can count the ones that died; the macabre game he plays with his dad in guessing how many bullets it takes to kill people; and news accounts of severed heads and body parts, we see glimpses of the Mexican drug war playing out in a landscape that’s corrupt and violent. While it seems like this is the only world that the isolated boy knows, he seems also to sense that something is not quite right, and this makes the story all the more heartbreaking.

I always find it harder to write a review of the books that I’m so enamored with—it just feels like I’d never be able to truly capture how tremendous the book is and why it struck a chord. And this is the case with Down the Rabbit Hole. I’m eagerly awaiting Villalobos’ next work.
( )
3 vote Samchan | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
A story told by the young son of a Mexican drug lord, it, like Room, is a study in isolation, and full of the pathos of the child's incomplete understanding. The child, Tochtli (or "rabbit" in Nahautl, Mexico's indigenous language), also has an occasionally precocious vocabulary – but we have a plausible explanation for this: he reads the dictionary before he goes to bed. And so his word-hoard includes, apart from the standard simple signifiers, such oddities as "sordid", "disastrous", "immaculate", "pathetic" and "devastating".
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Juan Pablo Villalobosprimary authorall editionscalculated
Harvey, RosalindTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thirlwell, AdamIntroductionmain authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Mateo
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Some people say I'm precocious.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Tochtli lives in a palace. He loves hats, samurai, guillotines and dictionaries, and what he wants more than anything right now is a new pet for his private zoo: a pygmy hippopotamus from Liberia. But Tochtli is a child whose father is a drug baron on the verge of taking over a powerful cartel, and Tochtli is growing up in a luxury hideout that he shares with hit men, prostitutes, dealers, servants and the odd corrupt politician or two.
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What Tochtli wants more than anything right now is a new pet for his private zoo: a pygmy hippopotamus from Liberia. But Tochtli is growing up in his drug baron father's luxury hideout, shared with hit men and dealers. Down the Rabbit Hole, a masterful and darkly-comic first novel, is the chronicle of a delirious journey to grant a child's wish.… (more)

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